AFP: ‘No atrocities’ by CPP on founding anniversary | Inquirer News

AFP: ‘No atrocities’ by CPP on founding anniversary

Supporters of Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison gather at the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City. STORY: AFP: ‘No atrocities’ by CPP on founding anniversary

REMEMBERING JOMA | Supporters of Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison gather at the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City, on Dec. 19, 2022, to honor the communist leader who died in the Netherlands on Dec. 16, 2022. (File photo by GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines – There were no “atrocities” and offensives by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on its 54th founding anniversary on Sunday, despite the absence of a ceasefire with the government, the military said.

“There was no violence, … no reported atrocities, offensives conducted by the CPP-NPA (New People’s Army),” Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said in a television interview on Monday, referring as well to the party’s armed wing.


“So, we had a very peaceful celebration of Christmas and we supported the PNP (Philippine National Police) in the conduct of law enforcement operations so that there will be peace and order in our communities,” he added.


‘Digital person’

Aguilar also issued a statement, reiterating his earlier point that the death of CPP founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison had left his movement with “no sense of purpose and direction.”

Sison, who died on Dec. 16, is due to be cremated on Tuesday (Dec. 27) in Utrecht, the Netherlands, where he had been in self-imposed exile since 1987.

Aguilar, in his statement, said: “To keep the organization afloat, the CPP, through a digital person known as ‘Marco Valbuena,’ can only come up with press releases and statement[s] to convey the party’s directive and message to its lower organs and armed group, including its threat of tactical offensives.”

He said there was “a breakdown in… communication” between the CPP and the NPA, due in part to the “neutralization of [their] top leaders” such as Julius Giron, Menandro Villanueva, Jorge Madlos, and Benito Tiamzon.

Aguilar described Tiamzon as the party’s “supposed chairman,” noting further his “silence and long absence.”

Tiamzon and his wife Wilma were reportedly killed in an encounter last August off Catbalogan, the coastal capital of Samar province. But neither the rebels nor the military had confirmed this.


Aguilar affirmed the AFP’s official figures that the rebellion was down to 23 guerrilla fronts—in contrast to the party’s claim of having 110 fronts.

‘Strong in numbers’

In a 26-page statement marking its anniversary, the CPP said its membership remained “strong in numbers and steep in quality.”

“The Party and revolutionary movement have withstood more than five years of relentless attacks which have employed the worst forms of state terrorism,” said the statement by the CPP’s central committee, apparently referring to the previous administration of Rodrigo Duterte.

“The Filipino people and their revolutionary forces are determined to advance the armed struggle and the mass movement, … as they face heightened oppression and exploitation under the US-Marcos regime,” the statement also said, referring to the current administration of President Marcos.

After more than half a century in existence, both the CPP and NPA — which marks its 53rd anniversary in March — continue to wage what the foreign press describes as “the world’s longest insurgency.”

Then President Fidel Ramos legalized the CPP in 1992 when he signed into law Republic Act No. 7636, which repealed the Anti-Subversion Act of 1957 that outlawed the party.

But in 2002, the CPP was classified as a terrorist organization by the United States upon then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s request.

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In 2017, Duterte issued a proclamation also classifying the CPP and NPA as terrorist organizations.


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